LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Arkansas attorney general's office said it expects former Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to reimburse the state nearly $11,000 for improper expenses "very soon," according to office spokesman Aaron Sadler.
Sadler told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/XPlKSF ) that "we have talked to Mr. Darr and we anticipate that this debt will be resolved very soon, without any need for litigation." He declined to elaborate on when "very soon" would be.
Earlier this month, a chief deputy with attorney general Dustin McDaniel's office said the office was "prepared to immediately move forward" with a lawsuit, if necessary, to retrieve the $10,973 Darr owes the state.
Auditors recommended in April that Darr pay the money for misspending taxpayer funds, such as receiving almost $10,000 in improper mileage reimbursements from January 2011 to September 2013.
On top of the $10,973 required payment, Darr also was fined $11,000 over ethics violations tied to his office and campaign spending.
He resigned in February. Darr, who now works as a car salesman, declined to comment to the newspaper.
Ethics Commission Director Graham Sloan said Darr has paid $7,000 of his $11,000 fine. He said Darr must pay the commission $1,000 per month and is current on his payments.
The lieutenant governor's office has been vacant since Darr stepped down earlier this year. State lawmakers gave Gov. Mike Beebe authority to keep the office, which presides over the Arkansas Senate and casts the rare tie-breaking vote in the chamber, unoccupied rather than call a special election to fill it for a few months.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com